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The Capitalist Religion

I was listening to Yuval Harari’s lecture series about his book Sapiens. He classified Capitalism as a religion and convinced me that I had already fully bought in. I’ve been practicing its creed without recognizing it as a religion. I believe we should formalize the religion in order to inform and enlighten the other practitioners.

Major religions often have a supreme good, the capitalists worship Economic Growth. A Capitalist sins when they spend their profits on superfluous luxury. Rather, they should always reinvest profits to further growth, of their business first, with the side effect of growing the economy generally.

The religion has a lower class: the Consumer, who should buy things they don’t need with money they don’t have to impress people they don’t like. They assist Capitalists by consuming the excesses of over-abundant production, increasing the velocity of money, and bolstering economic metrics of activity.

The religion needs an embodiment. I propose creating The First Capitalist Church of Wealth. It also has an associated fraternity: The Spontaneous Order of Free Marketeers. Various Profits spread the the economic lessons. I propose coining Adam Smith and Frédéric Bastiat each the title of Mint (akin to Saint), or perhaps a higher rank such as one of the 12 Accountants (akin to Apsotles). I have not yet ordained the the hierarchy.

We have a holy book: The Ledger. It contains various books such as The Book of Acquisitions.

But we don’t speak of The Ledger as just a holy book. Each individual also has a person ledger that tracks their economic contributions (like the chain worn by Ebenezer Scrooge). When a person dies and goes to the Golden Vault, there receive an accounting of their person ledger. If they pass the audit, they may enter the vault. Otherwise, if their economic contributions were net negative, they shall experience an eternal torment, of shoddy products and bad service. Various levels of hellish inconvenience await them, as per the magnitude of their debts.

We have a guiding spirit: The Invisible Hand (as coined by Adam Smith), that directs entrepreneurs to generate value for the consumers.

I haven’t worked out yet how one pays penance for their misdeeds and malinvestments. But I think the religion can generate good interest, with membership appreciating the economic growth mindset.

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